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What to do about the squirrels

Birds are so pretty aren’t they?  They are fun to watch as they swoop to feed, they are colorful to look at and their lyrical songs are soothing to hear.  Many bird lovers put up bird feeders in the hopes of attracting these awesome creatures to their backyard.

And many bird lovers sincerely wish they could annihilate the entire nuisance squirrel population.  This is because nuisance squirrels run off the birds.  They eat the bird food.  They damage and destroy bird feeders.

Unfortunately, the squirrel damage doesn’t stop there! Squirrels are notorious for eating just about anything and damaging just about anything they get into.  They make nests in the house, damage insulation, chew up electrical wires and just plain make themselves a nuisance.

As a homeowner, this is extremely frustrating.  But it’s important to remember that there are laws regulating just what can be done to squirrels on your own.  As one Melbourne resident recently learned, you simply can’t shoot them with a BB.  And you can’t hire yourself out to your frustrated neighbors. Although not arrested, he was given a warning about taking matters into your own hand.

When it comes to the law, the regulations can get quite complex.  You may or may not be allowed to destroy nuisance squirrels.  You may or may not be allowed to relocate nuisance squirrels.  It all depends upon whether you are a homeowner, if the squirrel is damaging your property and what your local regulations are.  Although the state allows the destruction of nuisance squirrels on your own property, some local ordinances may restrict exactly how you can do this.

Some ways to help deter squirrels from choosing your yard to make their home include trimming tree branches to keep them away from your house and the power lines, keeping trash can lids on tight, using pepper-based spray on your garden or scare them off with pinwheels, motion-activated lights or aluminum pie pans in the yard.  If you have bird feeders, squirrel baffles often make a big difference in keeping the squirrels out of the bird food.  And if they’re getting into your house, finding and sealing the openings makes a huge difference.

If you have nuisance squirrels and you wish to get rid of them lawfully, it’s best to contact a professional.  The professional can handle a large amount of squirrels and can also provide great information regarding keeping the squirrels from coming back and getting into the bird food.

14 May

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